Greenfield Board Considering Liquor by the Drink Referendum


Shannon Taylor


The city of Greenfield discussed its beer ordinance at its April 9 monthly meeting. Alderwoman Kelly Keylon spoke on the issue.

“I was looking at our beer ordinance in comparison to other beer ordinances within the county and other surrounding areas and ours was a little outdated compared to all theirs,” Keylon stated.

According to Keylon, the city didn’t address some issues like the beer board.

“Our beer board is not our entire board which is fine with no one getting a permit, but now that we have changed that to where more people can get permits, it makes more sense for us to be like some of the bigger areas like Paris and Dresden where you have a beer board which is 5-6 people, usually 2 board members as well as community members that can approve the permits, do the investigations, the hearings on suspensions and revocations and can address all those issues. Keylon said it also needed to be updated to allow permits for special events.

City Attorney Beau Pemberton spoke on the issue and stated that he reviewed it and compared it with the city’s existing ordinances.

“It does have the most recent changes dealing with the 200-foot restrictor that this board dealt with a few months ago as far as the distance for sales. It does update it and bring it more in line with other cities,” Pemberton said.

Pemberton explained that the city ought to have a beer board separate from their board of mayor and alderman, who would appoint the beer board and cut down a lot of the work the board does as far as approving permits.

The ordinance would require three readings and a public hearing. The board approved implementing the ordinance 6-0 on the first reading.

A liquor by the drink referendum was also brought up by Keylon. “I know this is a hot topic and I’m sure we’re going to get lots of calls about this, but I feel like the citizens of Greenfield should be allowed to vote on whether or not we have liquor by the drink. That’s what a referendum is. It’s not us making a decision. It’s us authorizing it to be put on the ballot so that the citizens of Greenfield can come out and vote whichever way they want to,” Keylon said.

“I think this would be the fairest way to represent our people,” Pope stated.

“Under state law under title 57, this is one of those statutory referendums that doesn’t require action from the general assembly. The boards in each respective town can vote to put an item such as this on a referendum. In this case, if the board chose to do it, it would be a two-step process. One, tonight if this board so moves to direct me to prepare the resolution to place it on the November ballot, you can do that. The resolution itself then has to be approved by a two-thirds vote of the city’s governing body so even if the board says yes, it’s a resolution, not an ordinance, so it requires one reading and it has to have two-thirds so six board members have to vote in favor of it before it gets transmitted to the county election commission to be placed on the ballot,” Pemberton stated.

“The second part of that is timing. A resolution can’t be submitted to the county election commission no less than 75 days before the November election nor more than 90 days before the November election. Your window would be no sooner than August 8 but not later than August 22. You would ideally vote on this at your August board meeting,” Pemberton said.

The board made a motion to have the resolution on the agenda for the May board meeting. The motion was approved 7-0.

The City of Greenfield held its 3rd reading of amendments to the zoning ordinance for travel trailer occupancy. A motion was made to amend the ordinance so that it doesn’t interfere with or obstruct business practice and allows temporary occupancy of travel trailers which some businesses in the area use occasionally for business activities.

The motion to amend passed 5-1 with Alderman James Roy Pope obtaining and Keylon voting no.

On 3rd reading, as amended, the zoning ordinance passed 6-0 with Pope obtaining.

In new business the first reading of the 2024-25 budget where the tax rate of 1.1607 was adopted per $100 of assessed value. The budget passed 7-0.

The first reading of changes to the fee ordinance regarding water and sewer. Pemberton stated, “This was brought up as a product out of the budget meeting as an ordinance to raise tap fees for water and wastewater taps,”

The tap fees are going up to $600 from what they were before. Reconnection fees and connection fees for utility customers will go up to $50 and for new and existing customers that do not own real estate, there will be a tenant clause for service and a $200 deposit, and for new or existing utility customers that own real estate, a $100 deposit. This raises the deposits, reconnect fees, and tap fees. The ordinance requires three readings, along with a public hearing. The ordinance stems from Water and Sewer Director Robert Rodriguez stating that the city was losing money from tap fees and the fees would be in line with other surrounding cities.

The first reading passed 7-0.

The City of Greenfield recognized the Greenfield Lady Jackets. “The City of Greenfield is so proud of y’all and we would like to recognize y’all here tonight, the 2023-24 team. You all represented Greenfield in an awesome way at the state tournaments and we’re proud of you and your coaches,” McAdams stated.

The next board meeting will be held Tuesday, May 14 at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall. The board meeting is streamed and shared on the city’s Facebook page as well for citizens unable to attend.